Luiza Maria Georgescu, chief of personnel at Nuclearelectrica, pushes the button which starts the listing of the company on the Bucharest Stock Exchange, on October 4th, 2013. Lucian Anghel and Ludwik Sobolewski were present, but the BSE doesn't remember it anymore.
* The press release about the results of the BSE has omitted mentioning the IPO of Nuclearelectrica
* Even though it quotes PwC, the data posted by the BSE differs from that of the consulting firm
In a promotional campaign that isn't justified by reality in any way, the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB) is being maneuvered by its president Lucian Anghel into posting wacky press releases almost daily, such as the one posted yesterday, called "Listings of over 1 billion Euros in four years on the Bucharest Stock Exchange", with the only purpose of praising Ludwik Sobolewski's performances on the BSE, and not in any way for information purposes, because yesterday's text for instance, contains wrong numbers, omissions and wording mistakes.
Yesterday, the PR team of the BSE showed that they had no idea about what happens at the company: "The Bucharest Stock Exchange (BSE) has become, over the last few years one of the most dynamic markets in Central and Eastern Europe, where successful IPOs amounting to more than one billion Euros have been launched. According to data available in the IPO Watch Europe provided by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), in the last four years, the BSE has seen IPOs amounting to 1.1 billion Euros.
Three private companies and two state owned ones have gotten listed on the BSE since 2013".
The Bucharest Stock Exchange, which was until recently led by Sobolewski, doesn't know how many IPOs the state has initiated, during these four years: there have been three of them, not two.
The press release of the BSE completely neglects to mention the Nuclearelectrica IPO, of September 2013, and only mentions Romgaz and Electrica: "In 2014, a company in which the state held a majority stake was being taken public: the IPO for the sale of 51% of Electrica (EL) was worth 443 million Euros.
At the end of 2013, Romgaz (SNG) got listed on the BSE, after an IPO of 391 million Euros, for 15% of the company".
What's worse is that even in the chart presented by the BSE, having IPO Watch Europe - a report by PwC - as a source, the total value of the 2013 IPOs is said to be 391 million Euros, even though the mistake was not made by PwC. The PwC report of 2014, quoted by the BSE, shows a total value of 454 million Euros for 2013 IPOs.
The representatives of the BSE have simply erased the Nuclearelectrica IPO, of approximately 70 million Euros from the statistics, showing lack of professionalism, even as they are trying to publicize an achievement.
When it comes to private IPOs, the BSE is mired in mistakes: "This year, a record for the biggest IPO of a private company on the BSE was seen: DIGI Communications (DIGI) sold a block of shares of 25.6% worth a total of 207 million Euros. In June, another Romanian company, AAGES (AAG), was listed after the shareholders sold 15% for the equivalent of 1.2 million Euros. At the end of last year, another private company, medical services operator MedLife (M), had a stake of 44% for the equivalent of 51 million Euros".
Once again, the members of PR team of the BSE have no idea what they're talking about and make another mistake, because DIGI Communications and MedLife didn't sell any interests, just like in the case of AAGES (AAG), their shareholders sold their shares, through IPOs on the BSE, which means that the stock market was not used for financing, but as an intermediary.
Where does it say that if they're PR officers of the BSE they should know what they're talking about?!
What's important is praising Sobolewski!
Lucian Anghel said: "On a regional scale, we have made a historic leap and we have become one of the two most powerful emerging markets for IPOs, surpassing in that regard even some emerging and developed markets. And that has happened in a country where the GDP per capita puts her towards the bottom of the chart of European countries".
A historic leap!
Lucian Anghel claims that the Romanian stock market has developed over the last few years due to the reforms and the constant modernization of the market.
It leaves you speechless!
Four fifths (78%) of the value of the IPOs of these four years with Sobolewski and Anghel at the helm come from the state's IPOs, in other words the performance of the BSE is for the most part, the worth of the state and not of the "reforms and of the constant modernization process".
"The historic leap" was made by the state.
That award should go the state, not to the Stock Exchange.
But, despite the "historic leap", despite the grandiose claims by Anghel that we have surpassed even developed markets in some regard, the Bucharest Stock Exchange continues to be irrelevant among the continental stock exchanges, where in terms of the median daily turnover (that is the most important criterion), we're at the bottom compared to the other European countries.
Sobolewski's term did not bring in any improvement in that regard.
Sobolewski didn't know how to do that.
But the BSE still doesn't matter in the overall picture of the Romanian economy. Its presence in Romania's economic life is so insignificant, that it has only succeeded in keeping 62,000 accounts, of which it is unknown how many are really active. Probably about 5,000. We are talking about 5,000 investors in a country of 20 million residents.
Having no connection to the performance criteria assumed through the CEO's management contract, the reports of the BSE represent a way to distract from a real evaluation of Sobolewski, as well as covert promotion for him, because they conveniently overlap with his term.
These announcements are being accompanied by statements of BSE president Lucian Anghel, who wants to see Sobolewski back as CEO.
The fact that he wants it back even after the misleading current reports posted by Sobolewski on the official website of the BSE, the fact that Anghel never denied those misleading current reports by the BSE, quite the contrary, after their publication, he tried to get the approval of the Board of Directors of the Exchange for them, these facts give us the scope of something.
Of what exactly?!
How can this be described?
ADINA ARDELEANU (translated by Cosmin Ghidoveanu)